Minutes of the first meeting of the International Group for the study of “Piracy in the Early Modern Period.” The Business meeting was held at the St. Augustine Historical Society in Saint Augustine, Florida on the 29th of February, 2020, as part of the inaugural congress.
In attendance: Franziska Gesine Brede (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main), Dorde Cuvardic García (Universidad de Costa Rica), Steven C. Hahn (St. Olaf College), Sabrina Guerra Moscoso (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), Yonsoo Kim (Purdue University), Kris E. Lane (Tulane University), Judith Mansilla (Florida International University), Clayton McCarl (University of North Florida), Jason McCloskey (Bucknell University), Víctor A Medina Lugo (Tulane University), Song I. No (Purdue University), Rafael Obando Andrade (Universidad Pablo de Olavide) , Andrew Rutledge (University of Michigan), Rubén Sánchez-Godoy (Southern Methodist University), Leonor Taiano (University of Notre Dame), Paola Uparela (University of Florida), Ximena Urbina (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso), Mariana-Cecilia Velázquez (University of Nevada-Reno), Andrew Grant Wood (University of Tulsa)
I. Welcome. Chad Germany, an assistant librarian of the St. Augustine Historical Society, welcomed the group and provided the members with a general overview of the library’s holdings related to the colonial period. For anyone that might be interested in knowing more about this, please contact Chad directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
II. Second Congress.
Venue. Clayton McCarl and Mariana-Cecilia Velázquez shared the news about María Gracia Ríos’s (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) interest to organize the second international congress of the group to be held in Lima (2021). The group supported this proposal. Clayton and Mariana committed to formalizing these plans through further conversations with Dr. Ríos. As soon as they have more information about this they will share the details and logistics with the group.
Suggestions. Clayton and Mariana asked the group for suggestions regarding the second and future congresses.
- Several people expressed their wishes about not having simultaneous panel sessions. If this is not possible, several members suggested filming all the presentations.
- If people were to travel to Lima (Peru) in 2021, it would be important to hold congress for at least two days so that the participants can secure funding from their respective institutions.
- The congress could have four plenary addresses in total (two per day: two researchers from EEUU and two from Latin America).
- Possible future venues should be emblematic places for the history of piracy, as it was the case with St. Augustine. Some of the places suggested include the following (the names of the members who suggested these places are in parenthesis): Campeche (Victor Medina Lugo); Galápago islands (Sabrina Guerra); Valparaíso y Tierra del Fuego (Ximena Urbina); Seville (Rafael Obando Andrade); New Orleans, y Newport News, Virginia (Kris Lane); San Juan (Mariana Velázquez); Cartagena (Rubén Sánchez-Godoy)
- Members should search for associations, museums (etc.) for possible collaborations or sponsorships such as the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News.
- It was recommended to announce potential topics or lines of inquiry in the Call for Papers.
- It was suggested that we consider accepting proposals in Portuguese and French.
- We might look into offering ways to participate virtually in the congress for those who won’t be able to travel.
Frequency. There was consensus about celebrating congresses once every two years. However, the group agreed upon holding the second congress next year (2021) to take advantage of the current energy and enthusiasm around this event.
Funding. Clayton and Mariana asked if the participants were willing to pay a registration fee to help cover the costs of the congress. Several members pointed out potential challenges associated with the process of charging registration fees. For instance, the group would need to have the legal status of a non-profit organization to be able to charge a registration fee in the US.
The leadership of the group. Clayton explained to the members that since the formation of the group in 2018, he and Mariana have served as co-leaders. Clayton communicated his intention to withdraw from this position and let María Ríos fulfill this role for the upcoming congress. Mariana stated that she is willing to serve as a co-leader and to collaborate with María organizing the next congress. Clayton expressed his availability to continue managing the website and the listserv of the group, which are both hosted by his institution (UNF). The group approved these proposals. In order to maintain a structural continuity, it was suggested that co-leaders will become part of an advisory board once their term is over.
III. Potential Publications. It was suggested that the group could publish a newsletter. It was also proposed that the group could publish a dossier in an academic journal or an edited volume. Clayton and Mariana encouraged the members of the group to take leadership on these latter initiatives, which could be carried out in a non-centralized manner. The members could contact reviews, editors, and publishers and disseminate their own call for papers according to the topics of their interest (using the listserv of the group as a platform for sharing these initiatives).
IV. A Bibliography. It was suggested that the group should start putting together a bibliography about the study of piracy. To this end, the members could gather information in a Google Doc and it could eventually be published on the website of the group.